15 Cool Facts About Fridges You Might Not Know About

Alex Mcil author
Alex Mcil

Out of all the appliances in the household, the fridge would be the one I pick out of any others if push came to shove. It’s convenient, extends the life expectancy of our food & drinks and has saved us countless hours on daily grocery shopping.

Make no mistake, although this appliance is revolutionary, it’s still a box that’s designed to keep the contents inside cool. Unlike water filter vacuum cleaners new technology, fridges have not changed a lot in a while.

Not exactly the most exciting topic, which is why in this article we will be looking at some refrigerator fun facts that you might not have known about.

facts about refrigerators you didn't know about
Quick answer

Refrigerators have come a long way since they were introduced in the 18th century. This engineering miracle has seen so many improvements that even new refrigerators are completely different from the ones that were released only 10 years ago.

“Believe it or not, your fridge simply relocates heat from the inside to the outside, using principles of evaporation and condensation; it’s not creating cold, it’s moving heat. In understanding this, one gains an appreciation for the elegant efficiency of this household staple.”

Ralston Crofts, Refrigeration Engineer

Let’s take a look at some weird facts:

  • The life span of a fridge in 1960 was about 20 years, compared to 5 years in 2000
  • Cleaning the coils and back of the fridge 3 times a year can reduce your unit’s energy consumption by up to 6%
  • Today’s refrigerators are 41% more efficient compared to those from 10 years ago
  • For every increase of 5°F above ambient temperature, your fridge uses 12.5% more energy
  • If your refrigerator door doesn’t close properly, you can apply vaseline around the door’s frame to keep it shut
  • Energy consumed by the total number of refrigerators in the United States is equivalent to the energy produced by 24 power plants
  • Type “241543903” into Google Images and tell me what you see? Weird right? The story behind it is pretty interesting
  • 10-12% of your property’s electrical bill comes from your fridge
  • 8 million refrigerators are sold in the US alone
  • A person on average opens the fridge door up to 23 times a day
  • The very first refrigerators (between 1800’s – 1920’s) used toxic gases such as Methyl Chloride (CH3CL), Ammonia (NH3), Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) and Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)
  • The first refrigerators for home use were introduced in 1930
  • Since 1992, over 62 million tones of CO2 has been saved by Greenpeace since its introduction of Greenfreeze technology.
  • In 2011 the United States legalized the us of hydrocarbon gases like propane and isobutane to replace the more harmful F-gases (a 21 year battle)
  • In 1756 William Cullen gave the first documented public demonstration of artificial refrigeration. Although not credited for inventing the fridge, he did discover the basis for modern refrigeration.
Refrigerator facts

Author’s Final Thoughts

As interesting and fun as these facts are, there is an other concerning aspect to this – the quantity of fridges that are getting thrown out globally!

It is estimated that 53 million tonnes of electrical waste is thrown out every year, with that figure growing every year.

Not all that waste comes from fridges, but they are one of the largest contributors of the total weight sum. To put this into perspective, this equates to the weight of 350 cruise ships’ worth of electronics.

The solution may very well be running your existing fridge efficiently while maintaining it to extend its life expectancy before sending it to the skip.





5 thoughts on “15 Cool Facts About Fridges You Might Not Know About”

  1. I must say a fridge, although seemingly simple, has a complex mechanism at its core. Just last week, I had the elaborate task of repairing an antique unit, and it’s astonishing to note how the fundamental principle remains the same even in our modern units.

  2. Well, though I might be looking at this through ‘engineer-tinted-glasses’, the evolution of fridge technology isn’t as stagnant as people often assume. They have come a long way in terms of efficiency, noise reduction and other smaller improvements one might overlook. The fundamental principle might be the same, but the devil is always in the details, and those details have been significantly polished over the years.

  3. I see your point, Edmund, but let’s not overlook the charm of old fridge models. Sure, they might seem cumbersome when compared to sleek new variants and their noise level is definitely higher, but the craftsmanship that went into them is often superior. My 1950s Kelvinators are still running as smoothly as any modern unit, whilst maintaining their unique retro flair.

  4. I couldn’t agree more with you, Vincent. Running smoothly aside, there’s something incredibly nostalgic about owning an old unit, a feeling that the modern sleek ones fail to replicate. I’ve spent much of my retirement restoring these gems – their clunky but charming exterior has an odd comforting effect on me. Moreover, their robust build quality often surpasses the short-lived glamour of new models.

  5. Avatar
    Bartholomew Knightley

    I resonate with you, Pennington! Having spent numerous years in the mechanical industries, I too, have a distinct preference for older units. Their make, the tangible sound of a fully functional motor; it’s music to my ears. There’s something about analyzing their inner workings and restoring them – adds a sense of satisfaction that merely buying a new one cannot replicate.

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